Re: Re: Developments in Cork

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the airport hill site has no planning – the work on the site is not construction-related afaik. there were proposals for substantial landmark development but these did not progress very far. re; blackpool – both sunbeam and adjacent site have planning in place for large scale mixed use schemes, but i would be surprised if either proceed in the next 12 months. i do think they will be advanced however, but just not right now.

i have not heard of the northside counciller’s idea of developing a kildare village style outlet centre development in blarney. i would not support this as it would have no positives for blarney or cork more generally. kildare village is very successful commercially, but i suspect that it operates in the following way – people drive down the M8 from Dublin – into kildare village – park-shop- leave – back on the M8 and home – there is little evidence of spin-off to kildare town centre, and if anything, it detarcts from the town centre’s viability. in my opinion, a retail outley near blarney would probably have a negative impact on blarney’s town centre and in all likelihood, compete with the woollen mills [and win]. i really think that in terms of tourism, we need to stop pushing tourists who arrive in the city out – the tourist attraction shouldn’t be a fake retail village ‘experience’, it should be the authentic city centre itself. the economics of retail outlet centres is based on good value, and it encourages discount label-oriented shopping. these type of shoppers do not tend to make a weekend out of it and stay in the clarion – they drive and shop.

in my opinion, the most important developments for cork in the short term should be – kent station and an event centre in the city centre – both of these can contribute to transforming the image and impression of the city – the former shold be redeveloped as a major transortation hub with associated comemrcial, employment uses, while the event centre would address a huge defecit in terms of cultural capital and the city centre night time economy.

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